Re­ject amend­ment to Act 355 even if tabled as Pri­vate Mem­ber’s Bill, MPs told

The Borneo Post - - HOME -

KUCH­ING: All mem­bers of par­lia­ment ( MPs) es­pe­cially those from Sabah and Sarawak should not drop the ball but re­main stead­fast in re­ject­ing the Pri­vate Mem­ber’s Bill tabled by PAS pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Ab­dul Hadi Awang to amend the Syariah Courts ( Crim­i­nal Ju­ris­dic­tion) Act 1965 (Act 355), even af­ter the an­nounce­ment by the Prime Min­is­ter that the fed­eral govern­ment would not take over and ta­ble the said pri­vate mem­ber’s Bill.

Dr Kelvin Yii, spe­cial as­sis­tant to state Demo­cratic Ac­tion Party ( DAP) chair­man Chong Chieng Jen, in high­light­ing this yes­ter­day, re­minded that the Bill may well still be tabled, al­beit as a Pri­vate’s Mem­ber Bill.

“All the Sabah and Sarawak MPs es­pe­cially those from Barisan Na­sional ( BN) must stay true to their ob­jec­tion and be present in Par­lia­ment to make their ob­jec­tion known. Not turn­ing up or ab­stain­ing from vot­ing is as bad as vot­ing ‘Yes’ to the bill,” he said in a press state­ment.

To-date, Yii ob­served that the BN MPs have re­mained am­bigu­ous on the Bill with no of­fi­cial con­sen­sus to re­ject it as an­nounced by the Prime Min­is­ter.

“That means there is still a risk that not only the Speaker will be told to pri­ori­tise the Pri­vate’s Mem­bers Bill, but also BN MPs es­pe­cially those from Umno might still vote for the Bill,” he elab­o­rated.

The Bill, he added, will be passed if it gets the ma­jor­ity vote from MPs in attendance.

“If Umno or PAS have the ma­jor­ity dur­ing the par­lia­men­tary ses­sion on that day, the Bill may still very well be­come law. By not be­ing present to vote against the Bill, ab­sen­tee MPs are ef­fec­tively agree­ing with Umno and PAS and thus con­tribut­ing to the high pos­si­bil­ity of its pass­ing,” he warned.

Yii likened stay­ing away or ab­stain­ing from vot­ing to shirk­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity the peo­ple had en­trusted to MPs and a be­trayal of the trust of the peo­ple who had voted them to de­fend the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion.

“If the Bill is ever passed, these MPs will share the same re­spon­si­bil­ity or blame that a bill, con­trary to the wishes of the peo­ple who voted for them, is able to see the light of day,” he said.

“No amount of ex­pla­na­tion will ever jus­tify their fail­ure to stand up for the be­liefs of the peo­ple of Sarawak and Sabah against an Act that is con­trary to the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion,” he added.

Yii thus called on all MPs es­pe­cially those from Sabah and Sarawak to stand firm and not waiver in their ob­jec­tion against the said Bill to pro­tect and up­hold the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion as well as the Malaysia Agree­ment 1963.

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